Working at “out of office” locations is nothing new. However, the popularity of this option has skyrocketed in recent years. In fact, according to 2017 research from FlexJobs, nearly four million Americans now work remotely all or part of the time. Researchers estimate one-third of the workforce will be fully remote within the next 10 years.
Telecommuting employees often tout the flexibility and increased work/life balance they gain from this arrangement. Still, there are times when reduced interaction with co-workers can cause team members to lose momentum and fall into a rut. That’s when sales managers like you must devise innovative methods by which to re-energize and re-focus these professionals. Here are some of the most popular ideas:
Communication is Key
As a sales leader, you know the importance of regular communication, both with your team members and clients. Though remote work eliminates in-person interaction, there are other ways to keep in touch. That includes video conferencing (Skype, Zoom, and similar), working from a co-sharing space one or two times a week, scheduling monthly on-site team building events, and more.
Above all, it’s paramount to set clear and realistic expectations early and often. As workers enjoy the freedom and flexibility of remote work, they must always be aware and reminded of the goals to which they’ve committed. Even top performers and self-sufficient sales reps still benefit from regular one-on-one coaching sessions and team interaction.
Provide Essential Tools and Training
Particularly in settings where immediate autonomous work is the norm, it’s essential to ensure your team is empowered with all the training and tools they require for maximum success. This includes access to continuing education opportunities.
Such professional development outreach can also benefit sales managers. For instance, Learning Outsource Group’s Cooperation Selling™ program empowers you to effectively lead your team into the new chapter of sales strategy and innovation.
In addition, collaborative technology is central to the continued success of any remote team. That includes online communication and organization platforms such as Basecamp, Slack, Teamwork, and more.
Your sales team is naturally competitive. That’s likely one of the main reasons they got into sales in the first place. However, working remotely can make them feel like drifting islands removed from the energetic working world to which they might be accustomed.
Establishing unique incentive programs can renew the performance-driven focus of your team. Remember to set milestones that are timely, challenging, and realistic. Include both monetary and non-cash incentives to meet strategic goals. The latter includes compensation such as paid vacations, matched charitable giving, and other innovative reward ideas.
Recognize Performance and Accomplishments
Employees appreciate congratulations and recognition for a job well done. There are many ways to accomplish this goal, both on and offline. Along with the mentioned incentives, remote workers benefit from smaller gestures such as a glowing LinkedIn recommendation, featured showcase on the company’s blog, award ceremonies, and other ideas.
Still, the first step to effectively guiding others remains a solid personal foundation of leadership and motivational expertise. Get started by requesting your free assessment from Learning Outsource Group. As always, you’re also welcome to contact us with any questions you may have. Begin the journey to a renewed and re-energized sales management approach today.